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Video Game / Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
aka: Mutant Year Zero

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Left-to-right: Bormin, Selma, and Dux, the first playable mutants
Of course the world ends. You did that to us. When the ice melted, you said nothing. When the plague spread, you did nothing. When the nukes dropped, you became nothing.

At least that's what the Elder says. But cheer up. You'll be happy know that despite your mistakes, life remains. In a small settlement high above the raging river, people are living and thriving.

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We call it the Ark.
Bormin

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a post-apocalyptic, heavily-stealth based turn-based strategy game developed by The Bearded Ladies Consulting and based on the Tabletop RPG of the same namenote . The story follows the attempts of the Ark mutants, the last remnants of humanity, to survive the harsh, desolate world, with focus on the expeditions of the Stalkers, the brave souls that venture outside the walls for precious resources to keep the people fed and safe, and the machines working for one more day.

The plot kicks off with Bormin and Dux on a standard run out for scrap metal, before the Elder informs them the Ark's head mechanic, Hammon, is missing. The search quickly spirals into a desperate, dangerous adventure for survival and trying to prevent yet another catastrophic apocalypse, all while trying to figure out just why exactly the world and they got that way in the first place.

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Gameplay is a hybrid of real-time stealth and exploration, sneaking around the wastes and around your enemies' awareness, before initiating turn-based strategy combat. Ideally, this is after you take out lone guards and stragglers away from the pack, before they can alert the rest of their buddies, fire back at you, or use their vast array of dangerous skills, but one wrong move is all it takes for everything to go horribly awry...

It was published by Funcom on December 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.


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This work provides examples of:

  • Abusive Precursors: The Ancients, otherwise known as humanity before the back-to-back ends-of-the-world that wiped them all out. Majority of Bormin's complaints is them causing the end of the world, and it gets much more personal when he finds out he, Dux, and Farrow were created as part of a supersoldier project, before the apocalypse.
  • Ambiguously Human: As seen above with Selma, she certainly looks human, until you notice her grey, amphibian skin and the horns on her head. Similarly, Magnus appears completely normal, but has much of the bioelectric mutations of the Nova Sect Brothers, though without the brain tumours.
  • Anger Born of Worry: The Elder gets so mad about the party trying to find Eden because he wants to spare them the pain of finding out they’re actually just a bunch of genetic experiments.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The Nova Sect, a cult composed of Ghouls who want to end the world again, after being cast out by the mutants of the Ark.
  • Apocalyptic Log: A lot of the backstory is delivered through notes and journals left behind from the end times.
  • After the End: Basically every single mundane means for the world to end has occurred to this one. Global political strife? Check. Economic collapse? Check. Massive environmental destabilization and widespread natural disasters? Check. Incurable plague? Check. All-out nuclear war? Check.
  • The Before Times: Frequently referenced when it comes to "ancient artifacts," and the Elder's dialog. Due to the degradation of technology, and so much lost knowledge and technology, even mundane things like a pizzeria are assumed to have been a dispensary for some ancient ambrosia.
  • Berserk Button: The Elder gets steadily angrier and angrier at the party for defying his orders by trying to find Eden. It’s such a hot topic for him because he used to work there and knows they’ll find out about their true origins if they go.
  • Bird People: Dux is a humanoid duck.
  • Black Comedy: As is often the case for post-apocalyptic settings. Of particular note is one last letter a father left his daughter during an ill-fated evacuation from the Red Plague, where he explains he accidentally killed her pet turtle and replaced it with a different one. Said turtle died after he accidentally dropped his beard trimmer in his tank, and his death was "painless" after a few minutes of absolute agony. Also, the turtle was the wrong gender.
  • Body Horror: Ghouls, humans twisted by the radiation and toxicity of the Zone. Of particular note are the Sect's "Brothers," who wield electric/psychic powers, and whose heads are stuffed to the brim with cancerous tumours. Also notable is the description of the symptoms of the Red Plague, which includes rashes on the skin, high fever, and bleeding out of your eyes.
  • Broken Pedestal: By the end, the party’s view of the Elder is irrevocably shattered when they learn how he’s been lying to them for their whole lives.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Played for laughs in one of the trailers when Dux finds a can of ham and Bormin looks at him disapprovingly. There’s also the “corpse-eater” mutation.
  • Creator Provincialism: It takes place in Sweden.
  • Critical Hit Class: Farrow's unique selling point is that she can deal excessive amounts of critical hit damage so long as she's hidden. As such, many of her skills allow her to remain in stealth even during the heat of combat. Dux and Selma can also be this, by using their skills geared towards gaining height advantages and improving range, long-range weapons especially.
  • The Drag-Along: Dux makes it well known that he considers the whole quest a mistake and that he’d rather just go back to the Ark. He gets dragged along anyways.
  • Enemy Summoner: Ghoul Shamans, who yell out for additional reinforcements to make your life hell.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Pripp, proprietor of his eponymous bar, and an ancient artifact dealer in the Black Market. The numerous perks you can buy for him are all obviously illegal, shady, or detrimental to someone other than you in some way.
  • Future Imperfect: Thanks to loss of knowledge and degradation of many ancient projects, many speculations about relics tend to be off from its intended purpose. One example being assuming "Boom Box" as an explosive device rather than a slang for a music player, and many of the stat-boosting clothing assumed to have all been used for war and combat, like American Football armour, and a Poker hat.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Mutants are all part-animal, as the results of genetic experiments by the Ancients.
  • Heroic BSoD: The game ends with Bormin in the middle of a particularly severe one, having learned that his whole life is basically a lie.
  • Quarantine with Extreme Prejudice: Done in the backstory alongside more mundane quarantines to try and contain the Red Plague. It didn’t work.
  • Pardon My Klingon: The characters mix normal swear words like “hell” or “goddamn” with weirder, animal-based ones like “duck” instead of “fuck”.
  • Petting Zoo People: Bormin, Dux, and Farrow are mutants who look like a pig, a duck, and a fox, respectively. They have no idea why they look that way, are not happy about it, and are pretty sure the Ancients have something to do with their predicament, as always. They’re right.
  • Pig Man: Bormin. Specifically, he’s a humanoid wild boar.
  • Ominous Mundanity: The radioactive, disfigured and psychopathic mutant-infested wastes outside of the Ark are referred to as "The Zone."
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Plutonia and her cult want to destroy the Ark and the last remnants of civilization with it.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Elder's name is Dr. Ingmar Edison, otherwise known as the scientist of the Mutant Project who smuggled out Dux and Bormin, after the two of them were meant to be executed along with the rest of mutants.
    • Bormin, Dux, and Farrow were part of Mimir's "Mutant Project," intended to grow animal-like humanoids for unknown purposes.
  • Sequel Hook: The team reaches "Eden" in the form of a Mimir bunker; there they find out that the Elder was an Enclave scientist who helped create them. Bormin is hardly a minute into the resulting existential crisis when a radio clicks on, demanding a response from the Sweden command center.
  • Shock and Awe: The Nova Sect Brothers' brain tumours somehow give them the ability to supercharge their neural activity into a level that can be weaponized, discharged into foes, or used to empower allies. Later on, you get Magnus, who has the same powers except without the outwardly cancerous mutations.
  • Strategy RPG: Along similar lines to X-Com, though with real-time segments between turn-based combat.
  • The Plague: The Red Plague, which devastated majority of the population after the massive ecological collapse but before the nuclear war. Its symptoms include bleeding paranoia, skin rashes, and worst of all, bleeding out of the eyes, and the brief shot we get of row upon row of dead victims is not pretty, to say the least.
  • Technically Living Zombie: The Ghouls, though they’re much more intelligent than zombies are usually portrayed; they’re dumb as rocks, but can speak, follow order, and generally have coherent thoughts. It’s just all buried under a perpetual psychotic rage.
  • Turn-Based Tactics: Like one of the most famous modern examples, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the game has a One Side, One Turn ruleset, with Square Grid movement. Everyone has two actions per turn, most commands and skills costing one, some demanding two. It also has Overwatch and reaction shots.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Bormin accuses the Elder of being this, as seen in the page quote. There's quite a lot of evidence that backs it up once they reach Eden and discover he was a scientist involved with creating him and the mutants.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Bormin and Dux, with emphasis on the Vitriolic part.

Alternative Title(s): Mutant Year Zero

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